ICYMI: Top stories of the week


North Dakota’s House passes veto override of ranked-choice voting ban

On Monday, the North Dakota House of Representatives voted 71-17 to override Gov. Doug Burgum’s (R) veto of HB1273, a bill that would ban the use of approval and ranked-choice voting methods in the state. If a two-thirds majority in the Senate does the same, the legislation will become law.

Approval voting allows voters to select any number of candidates they choose. Ranked-choice voting is an electoral system in which voters rank candidates by preference on their ballots.

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Biden issues second veto of his presidency

On April 6, President Joe Biden (D) issued the second veto of his presidency, rejecting House Joint Resolution 27 (H.J.Res. 27) regarding the Clean Water Act.

H.J.Res 27 would have nullified an Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers rule that clarified the scope of which bodies of water fall under federal jurisdiction and protection.

The veto comes roughly three weeks after Biden issued his first veto regarding environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG).

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How and when voters must return absentee/mail-in ballots this year

Eight states—Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin—are holding statewide elections this year.

With absentee or mail-in voting, voters must complete and return ballots by mail or in person before a specified deadline.

Regardless of how voters return their ballot, the return deadlines are all the same in seven of the eight states holding statewide elections this year: Election Day. In Louisiana, voters must return absentee/mail-in ballots the day before the election.

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Ballot initiative signature campaign costs increased nearly 300% over the past four elections

In 2022, the average cost of running a successful petition drive was $4.1 million, double the 2020 average cost of $2.1 million. Thirty initiatives were on the ballot in 2022. The average cost of an individual signature rose to $12.70 in 2022, up from $8.09 in 2020, $6.52 in 2018, and $6.93 in 2016. 

Since 2016, the average total cost of a petition drive has increased almost 300%, while the number of citizen initiatives that qualified for the ballot decreased 61%.

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Biden signs resolution ending the national coronavirus state of emergency while four states still have active emergency orders

President Biden signed a bill ending the national coronavirus state of emergency on April 10, 1,135 days after it was officially implemented during the Trump administration. 

The bill was sent to Biden’s desk for signature after the Senate approved it 68-23 on March 29. Forty-eight Republicans, 20 Democrats, and three independents voted in favor. The House approved the bill 229-197 on Feb. 1, with 218 Republicans and 11 Democrats voting in favor. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) introduced the resolution on Jan. 9.

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